Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Let There be Sunshine!

After days of cloudy dreary weather, we actually have sunshine!  It's like a warm tonic that my body needs.  

I am so far removed from the natural rhythms of the earth and weather that were such a part of my life while growing up.  As a farmer's daughter, we had real connections with the earth and weather.  They weren't just  abstract ideas or theories.  I do know that my parents could read things from what was going on around them.  It was an accumulation of knowledge gained through years of close existence with the earth.  It was survival.    
In the spring while Daddy was plowing, the earth smelled so good and you simply could not resist the impulse to take off your shoes and just walk barefoot in that damp, cool earth.   It felt right.

There are times when I would like to try to recapture that closeness to the earth and let the natural rhythms dictate my life rather than the artificiality that now surround so many of us in this "modern" world.  I miss those remembered connections.  

Y'all take care.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hometown Quilt Show

Last weekend I went back to my hometown to a quilt show.  It was the first show  by this guild and they did a great job, I think.  Was fully as good as any show I've been to, albeit a little smaller. 

 One of the best surprises was to find that a childhood schoolmate and friend has become a prolific quilter!!  She had several quilts in the show and I was delighted to see her again after so MANY years.
King sized Jacob's ladder quilt
Those are 1 inch squares in the Jacob's Ladder quilt made by a husband/wife team.  Oh, my, the work put into that quilt. 

I think my favorite of the show was this Courthouse Steps quilt made by Bette Haddon from men's ties. 
Over the years, I've seen a number of quilts made from ties, bit I think this once is the best I've seen.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that she does exquisite work on all her quilts. 
In addition to the numerous large quilts, there were lots of minis also.  I've never tried to make a mini quilt as I'm intimidated by all the tiny pieces.  They are beautiful to see, though. 

Suddenly, here in the middle of this post, I'm having difficulties uploading more photos.  Aggravates me something fierce when this happens.  Let's try again.   No luck.  I'll be back later to see if I can edit this to add the other pictures.   Grrrrrrr!!!!!!

Wow, I was able to come back in an add pictures.  

Y'all take care. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

More about Bottle Trees

There've been several comments about the bottle tree.  I thought everybody knew about bottle trees!!  If you want to learn a little more about these beautiful creations, go to Felder Rushing's bottle trees.  Felder is a retired county extension agent, an avid gardener and collector of bottle trees, not to mention a truly nice guy. 

I've been looking for one for a long time but never found one that suited me.  I got mine from Kinsman Garden.  It seems to be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the bottles with no problem.  

Couldn't let the day go by without mentioning that today is hubby and my 16th anniversary.  We've been together for 21 years.  Where does the time go?

Y'all take care.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A New Tree

I've wanted one of these trees for the longest time, but have not been able to find one that suited me.  A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across one and it is now MINE!!! 
You should see it this morning!!  The sun just sparkles off all that colored glass and it's just an explosion of color out in an otherwise drab yard.  
I still have to add a few more bottles to it but I think its gorgeous!!! 

Y'all take care.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gone to the Birds

Recently, my husband and I made a trip to Lake Guntersville State Park in northern Alabama, along with my brother and sister-in-law.  It was my first trip to that specific location but bro and sis had camped there numerous times over the years. 

If you recall, in April 2011, numerous tornadoes tore through north Alabama, wreaking havoc on many cities and towns.  One of the locations hit was this park.  It was so sad to see the damage that still remains, even though cleanup and recovery work has been ongoing since the event. 

This is part of the campground that in its normal state would be covered with an assortment of tall hardwood and pine trees, providing welcome shade to summertime campers.  There are very few trees left standing in the campground.  Other areas of the park were hit also, and although a lot of the downed timber has been removed, there's still lots left.

In spite of the devastation around us, we enjoyed the weekend together.  Except for the drive up, the weather was beautiful, although very cold.  We went up as part of the Eagle Festival that takes place yearly.  The eagles were not nearly as plentiful this year as some, most likely due to the mild winter throughout the country.  But, we did see a few and did see a nest site which we learned had three eaglets in it.    I'm sorry I can't show you pictures of those eagles, but my camera lens is just too short to show anything but a speck. 

On Saturday night, we attended a program by S.O.A.R.  (Save Our Avian Resources), a non-profit entity dedicated to the protection, rehabilitation and conservation of all American raptors.  See their link here.

While I have seen most of the birds in the wild, it was a treat to see them up close and personal during the flight demonstrations. 
Barn Owl 

Red-Tailed Hawk 

Black Vulture 

Bald Eagle 

Bald Eagle 
There were several other birds of prey in the program as well.  All of these birds came to the organization either through injury or through too strong human habituation and, thus, are unable to survive in the wild.  The eagle, for instance, has only one wing due to being shot.  The left wing was amputated but otherwise, he thrives.  All the birds were fascinating, including the black vulture which would follow the lady around like a puppy!

As they finished each segment, the bird was brought around the room so that everyone could get a good closeup look.  I sat there near to tears at seeing the beauty of these magnificent creatures no more than two feet from my face.

With the unusually mild weather all over the country, I'm afraid that the spring migration may be disrupted.  Ah, well. I will enjoy it whenever it occurs and I'd encourage all of you to step outside and take notice.    

Y'all take care.